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Presentation: Cloud Native is About Culture, not Containers

Track: Kubernetes and Cloud Architectures

Location: Churchill, G flr.

Duration: 4:10pm - 5:00pm

Day of week: Wednesday

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What You’ll Learn

  1. Hear about the journey to cloud-native, what it takes, what it involves.
  2. Learn about some of the anti-patterns of cloud-native adoption.


As a developer in the IBM Garage, Holly Cummins works with customers who are trying to shift their businesses to the cloud and become more cloud native. Their dream is more effort higher up the value chain, more innovation, and greater adaptability. What’s getting in their way isn’t the technology—wrapping something in a docker container (usually) isn’t that hard. Instead, it’s figuring out what the real problem is, the structures that have been put in place to manage risk and the relationships between teams that trip companies up. It turns out there's quite a few anti-patterns on the journey to cloud. Holly shares stories of customers struggling to get cloud native and all the ways things can go wrong.


What is the work you're doing today?


I'm a lead developer in the IBM Garage. I work with large clients and small clients. And one of the main things that we do is help clients develop cloud-native applications and take their current applications that maybe were not developed with cloud-native in mind and move them to the cloud.


What are your goals for your QCon talk?


I'm hoping to share some of the learnings that I've acquired through painful experience and maybe help people avoid some of those mistakes, but also help people reframe their thinking about the cloud to think about and cloud-native in particular, to think about it as something that isn't just a piece of software that they can buy, that there need to be changes in a whole bunch of areas in how an organization delivers software to actually truly get the benefits of cloud-native.


What do you want people to leave the talk with?


The first key takeaway is that you can't just buy Kubernetes and then be cloud-native, and you can't just split your application across 16 containers and be cloud-native. And in fact, you can't necessarily split your application across 16 containers and even have it as reliable as it was before. There's a lot of things to think about. 

Speaker: Holly Cummins

Senior Technical Staff Member @IBM Garage

Holly Cummins is the worldwide development practice lead for the IBM Garage. As part of the Garage, Holly delivers technology-enabled innovation to clients across a range of industries, from banking to catering to retail to NGOs. She has led projects to count fish, help a blind athlete run ultra-marathons in the desert solo, improve health care for the elderly, and change how city parking works. Holly is also an Oracle Java Champion, IBM Q Ambassador, and JavaOne Rock Star. Before joining the IBM Garage, she was Delivery Lead for the WebSphere Liberty Profile (now Open Liberty). Holly co-authored Manning’s Enterprise OSGi in Action. She is an active speaker and has spoken at JavaOne, Devoxx, Sonar+D, JavaZone, JFokus, The ServerSide Java Symposium, GOTO, JAX London, QCon, GeeCon, and the Great Indian Developer Summit, as well as a number of user groups.  

Before joining IBM, Holly completed a DPhil in Quantum Computation.

Find Holly Cummins at

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